GET OUT THE VOTE
The SPT Board of Directors has voted to endorse adopting the Community Preservation Act, which will be Question #5 on the November 8 ballot.
CPA has already been adopted by 161 Massachusetts municipalities, including Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Wilbraham, West Springfield, Agawam, and Westfield. It is also being considered in November by Holyoke, South Hadley, Boston, and several other eastern Massachusetts communities.
CPA will place a surcharge of 1.5% on tax bills with exemptions for the first $100,000 of property valuations and for owner-occupants who are low income families or low/moderate income seniors.
The average Springfield homeowner will pay an extra $2.50 per tax quarter. To find your CPA surcharge, go to springfield-cpa.org. The percentage cannot be changed without another ballot question. The State then provides additional funds to participating communities from the CPA Trust Fund, which comes from fees for deed & municipal lien recordings and legislation allocation.
One million dollars of local funds will be raised annually before State funds are contributed. CPA money can only be used to acquire or enhance Historic Resources, Open/Recreation Space, and Housing. A minimum of 10% of funds must be annually allocated each for each of the three eligible categories.
A local CPA committee will review project applications from city departments, nonprofits, and community groups to ensure compliance with State requirements and to send recommendations to City Council. The CPA Committee must be composed of members from the Historical Commission, Conservation Commission, Park Commission, Housing Authority, Planning Board, and may have up to four others members if City Council allows. CPA allocations need approval by City Council.
CPA can particularly be useful for rehabilitation of historic properties when the costs of rehab exceed the fair market value, thereby limiting the borrowing capacity of the developer. CPA funds can be used a gap filler and also paired with other local, state, and federal funding sources to create an economically viable project.
“CPA can greatly assist the rehabilitation of deteriorated historic buildings in the city. It has the full support of the Springfield Preservation Trust Board of Directors,” said president Don Courtemanche.